Friday, May 29, 2009

Festival : Fotografia Festival in Rome

The Fotografia Festival in Rome will present a wide range of exhibitions and lectures. Among the many authors Nan Goldin with her series "Heartbeat", Guy Tillim with "Roma , citta' di mezzo" and Giorgio Barrera of which I will present another post. Apart from Single show I also appreciate the big panel "La Gioia" which will present a good list of modern photography , among this list Juliana Beasley, Rafal Milach, Gus Powell and many other. Roma Fotografia Festival is a young festival but perhaps the best photographic show in Italy.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Profile : Bao Nayong on TIan'Anmen at 360degree

During the Guangzhou Biennial 2009 Bao Nayong presented his project called Tian'anmen Square in 360 Degrees , an installation of a single photo made with a series of many square images attached all together. I found interesting title especially in the year of the 20th years anniversary of the riots where 3000 young people were killed after the long protest, although in the statement and in the intent those fact are not faced....
Here the note from the photographer about the exhibition :
April 4, 1976 was the date when the ‘45 Tian’anmen Event’ came to a climax. There were more than on million people gathering in Tian’anmen Square to mourn for our former Primer Zhou. I chose a high spot calmly and carefully on the east side of the flag pole, climbed on the back seat of a bicycle, and took a shot on the panorama view of the Tian’anmen Square.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Books : Orte Blicken Landschaft by Nikolaus Schletterer

Germany photography at its best with a book produced in 2003 , photos of landscapes by Nicolaus Schletterer.
Here note from the publisher:
Landscape ranked always already among the most popular topics of large photographers in the 200-jaehrigen history of the photography. American tradition of the landscape photography like the Ansel Adam and Edward Weston had even political effect and led ua to the establishment of the large American of national park. In Europe the category of the landscape was not always pursued intensively by photo artists. Only for the eighties, the to more the landscape from Europe to disappear seems, takes care of photographer again the topic. It does not concern to contemporary photographer such as Nikolaus Schletterer however any longer the transport of the aesthetic, historical or geographical function of the landscape, on the contrary they go on the tracing after the transformation and use by humans, as in the pictures on this wall seeing itself. The minimum human interferences into nature paired with light result in the area of conflict the Nikolaus Schletterer interested. The more or less minimalistic interferences, find their echo in minimalistic architecture. It is irrelevant thereby that the photographies in Tirol, Croatia, Mecklenburg Vorpommern or Italy developed. On the other hand it goes as abstracted in the large sized work here around artificial worlds in the landscape, through an easy shift of the coloredness. Luigi Ghirri has always of it spoken that the photography means of a fantasievollen narration is. Nikolaus Schletterer work varies between the fantsievollen narration, poetryful views of inconspicuous places, which makes a freezing with the large size camera again wahrnembar by the increased speed of our time only duch. Or like it Arno knight, director/conductor of the architecture forum Tirol formulated, works Nikolaus Schletterer on?einer Phaenomenologie the perception of landscape, the virtually stored meanings of places and the small apparently unimportant things. in its books archaeology of the 'banal' become analyzes it looks the construction of nature, the dynamics of the tourism and the longing industry connected with it...?. The new book of Nikolaus Schletterer: 'locate look to landscape' appears in the photo yard edition and in the context of a Finisage one presents.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Profile : Amleto Di Leo

Amleto Di Leo, Sicilian photographer has an interesting approach and I am happy to post in my blog. I choose a photo called "DIstanze Variabili".

Friday, May 22, 2009

Exhibition : Beijing Inside Views, by Floriane de Lassée

New Exhibition at the Paris-Beijing Photo Gallery in Beijing, Floriane De Lassee present the project on night photos done in the Chinese Capital.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Profile : Greg Stimac

American Photographer Greg Stimac present in his web site a series called "recoil" , I found it interesting and scary to think from which side of the scene he has taken the photos.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Books : It's Beautiful Here, Isn't It... By Luigi Ghirri

Luigi Ghirri is for sure one of the most influential Italian Photographers, his color vision gave a new idea of Italy and of Photography, "It's Beautiful Here, Isn't It... " is a book which reflect on Italy on the end of the 70s. The Book has a preface by William Eggleston which also influence the color photography as well as Ghirri.
here a note from the book which has been published in 2008:
Luigi Ghirri was an extraordinary photographer, as well as a writer and curator whose career was so rich and varied that it seems like a lesson in the contemporary history of the medium. Although well known in his native Italy, Ghirri does not yet have the international audience his work merits—perhaps because he died so young. It’s Beautiful Here, Isn’t It...—the first book published on Ghirri in the U.S.—will establish him as the seminal artist he was. Uncannily prescient, Ghirri shared the sensibility of what became known in the U.S. as the New Color and the New Topographics movements before they had even been named. Like his counterparts in Italian cinema, Ghirri believed that the local and the universal were inseparable and that life’s polarities—love and hate, present and past—were equally compelling. Not surprisingly, his interests encompassed all the arts: he worked in Giorgio Morandi’s studio and with architect Aldo Rossi, while influencing a generation of photographers, including Olivo Barbieri and Martin Parr. This dynamic new book includes a selection of Ghirri’s essays published in English for the first time, as well as a selected chronology. Photographs by Luigi Ghirri. Text by Germano Celant. Preface by William Eggleston. Notes by Paola Ghirri.
Aperture, New York, 2008. 152 pp., 95 color and 30 b&w illustrations, 11x8½".

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Profile : John Thomson

Scottish photographer
John Thomson has done travelled in China in 1867 producing amazing material for that period. The BBC online edition prepared a slideshow with his images which depict China after the Taiping Rebellion during the Qing Dynasty.
Here a note about John Thomson , text from the National Library of Scotland:
Edinburgh-born John Thomson (1837-1921) was one of the great names of early photography. His photographic legacy is one of astonishing quality and depth.Thomson's images of China and South-East Asia brought the land, culture, and people of the Far East alive for the 'armchair travellers' of Victorian Britain. He was one of the pioneers of photojournalism, using his camera to record life on London's streets in the 1870s. As a society photographer he also captured the rich and famous in the years before the First World War. These pages present a brief introduction to Thomson's work, with examples drawn from the National Library of Scotland's collections.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Profile :Liu Bolin

I always like to see the work from Liu Bolin, he is producing "camoflague" photos of himself in different background using always some chinese element such as writing, urban landscapes of his country and so on.
Here a note about him:
Liu bolin is a young beijing based artist who has exhibited primarily in china until last year’s solo show at paris’ galerie bertin toublanc and a group show with the gallery in miami. he recently finished up a show at eli klein fine art in new york showcasing a variety of his pieces including some form the series ‘camoflague’. this series is an exploration of human nature and animal instincts which features chinese citizens painted to blend into their surroundings. the subjects are covered head to toe in paint, camouflaging themselves in front of the chinese flag, a billboard or downtown beijing.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Books : West by Regina Anzenberger

I was pleased to join the 20h anniversary party from the Anzenberger Agency in Vienna. I know Regina Anzenberger since almost the beginning of her adventure with her unique agency which has been successful in the years by representing many good photographers. With the occasion the second part of her book project has been released , the book West is now on sale.
Both book East and West offering features from photographers represented in the agency.
Here the statement and concept of Book West :
The development toward a globalized world has progressed inexorably during the past 20 years – with borders blurring and countries and cultures converging. This makes it virtually impossible to identify the “Western world” anymore in any geographic sense. Is the West then only a dream? The photography book WEST looks for answers to this question, in the process revealing the multilayered facets of the phenomenon of globalization. Gathered together here are works by various photographers who set off on a quest to find the West, documenting their discoveries in disparate ways. Their investigations focus on subjects such as the myth of the cowboy, the life of Cambodian street gangs in the USA, and everyday dealings in London’s financial district. We are also given a glimpse of the world of allotment gardens in Vienna, and follow a dog named Pecorino on his travels through Europe. As a sequel to EAST, Regina Maria Anzenberger’s second volume of photographs is devoted not only to a geographic delineation of the West, but also to portraying the “Western idea” per se.
Photographers: Toni Anzenberger, Mauro Bottaro, Simone Casetta, Ulrich Eigner, Horst Friedrichs, Gianmaria Gava, Robert Haidinger, Lauren Hermele, Philipp Horak, Stuart Isett, Yadid Levy, Reiner Riedler, Richard Ross, Arabella Schwarzkopf, Annet van der Voort, Paolo Woods

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Profile : Hamila Vakili

Another interesting photographer from Iran : Hamila Vakili, again another female artist which has worked in some concept topics, I personally like the series from Stamps from which I choice the photo of this post's cover.
Hamila Vakili was born in 1979 in Tehran where now she lives. She graduated with a B.A. in Photography from the University of Tehran. Between 2001 and 2007 she has exhibited both in Iran and abroad, including the exhibitions '30 years of Solitude' at Cambridge University and the 'The veiled Mirror' at the De Santos Gallery, Houston, Texas. She also took part in 'Ey Iran', an exhibition of contemporary Iranian photography at the Gold Coast city Art Gallery, Australia. The Silk Road Gallery presented her works in 2004 at Paris Photo, Carrousel du Louvre, Paris and in 2007 at Art Paris, Grand Palais, Paris.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Profile : Andrea Land

I like the intimate work of American Photographer Andrea Land, in particular the series from the project In My Room Here a note from the Project's statement:
In my room
I enter into the process of creating a photograph on both a conscious and subconscious level. My portraits of children contain various layers of information relating to the artist, the subject and a mutual exchange between the two. The work seeks to explore the psyche of complex individuals. Each young girl, while physically existing in the natural world, also thrives in another realm, an insular dream state, with her gaze turned inward. The photographs exist as both fictional and autobiographical creations (growing up in an all female, Midwest household). Relating to the temporary situation of childhood, I am fascinated by young individuals’ imagination and intensity of experience. My curiosity about childhood, as a state of limbo and a game of illusion, creates additional layers with which to contemplate. Visually exploring the girls’ stances and embellished environments, the audience enters into a private world of vulnerability, isolation, imagination and memory. A delicate balance exists between the real and the imagined, the beautiful and the grotesque.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Exhibition : Annie Leibovitz , A family Album

The exhibition from Annie Leibovitz , A family Album will be held in the C/O Berlin , International Forum for visual Dialogues until the 24th, worth a visit
here the statement of the exhibition:
A family album, a comprehensive exhibition, and a personal diary – Annie Leibovitz’s photographs from her private life and professional work merge seamlessly into a chronicle of the events, official commissions, and personal stories of the last fifteen years.With this exhibition, Leibovitz honors her family and close friends with photographs of their travels to Sarajevo, Venice, Berlin, Kyoto, and Cairo. Numerous sequences of photographs focus on her parents and her extended family as it expanded from one year to the next, with images of family reunions and trips to the sea. Poignant photographs of her father’s death appear alongside pictures of the births of her three daughters. And again and again, we find ourselves face to face with the celebrities who Annie Leibovitz knows how to portray with such startling immediacy: Bill Clinton in the Oval Office, George W. Bush and his staff, Nelson Mandela in Soweto, Demi Moore in the late stages of pregnancy, Jack Nicholson on Mulholland Drive, William Burroughs in Kansas.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Profile : George Tatge

I am back in Umbria, a beautiful region in Italy where I was born , the region has been often under the lens of many photographers and perhaps it is considered for the quality of landscapes and daily life. One of the best essay ever done is the work of George Tatge , american in love with the region. I have met George Tatge some year ago during my assisting job in Pompeii (an ancient roman town near Naples) , that time George was directing the shooting of the frescos of the town as he also work as art coordinator of Alinari Firenze (one of the first Photographic company and nowadays archive of 3,5 million historical photographs). George has spent long time in his project on Umbria, black and white large format landscape which depict the magical mystery of this hidden heart of Italy.
here a note about George Tatge:
Born in Istanbul in 1951 of an Italian mother and American father.
He lived in Europe and in the Middle East most of his youth and studied English Literature at Beloit College in Wisconsin, where he also began photographing under the guidance of the Hungarian artist Michael Simon.
In 1973 he moved to Italy, working as a freelance photographer and writer.
He has held workshops and exhibitions throughout the world and his photographs can be found in major museum collections in the U.S. and in Europe. From 1986 until 2003 he worked as Director of Photography at the Alinari Archives. He now lives in Florence.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Exhibition : Daikichi Amano

Daikichi Amano has presented for the first time in Europe (in Rome) his show "Human Nature". The work follow and develop the well knows Erotic photography of Japan. I found interesting some of his work although he has a strong influence from the "Post Production" idea. The exhibition was held at Mondo Bizzarro Gallery in Rome.
here some notes from the show:
Daikichi Amano likes to describe himself as the “modern day reincarnation of Katsuhika Hokusai”. This is not an empty boast. Amano is one of the most exciting new visual artists working in Japan today.
Amano’s regular appearances in UK magazine Bizarre (the leading magazine of alternative culture), who have featured his photographs and work prominently in every issue for the past two years, have won him a worldwide cult following, with many fans in Europe, USA, Latin America and Australia.
Amano’s photographs are drawn from his own private fantasies. Fantasies that are animistic, animalistic and atavistic in nature, but all-too-human in execution, evoking primal fears and desires. In Amano’s world, the human body is worshipped and admired for its awesome beauty but also deformed and fused with nature – with wood, blood, bones, scales and feathers – transforming it into an erotic grotesque. But these frightful dioramas are also cut through with the blackest humour. His images also draw from traditional Japanese iconography and mythology.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Conversation : Eric Rechsteiner about Sha-Do Collective in Japan

I had a conversation in Tokyo with Eric Rechsteiner , french photographer based in Japan since many years, we talked about the Sha-Do collective of photographers which has been created recently and explore the collaboration between European Photographers (Eric Rechsteiner, David Coll Blanco andAndroniki Christodoulou) with Japanese Photographers (Aida NoriyukiandOgawaYasuhiro ), the interesting thing among the other is that the collective is perhaps the first in Japan and Asia....Eric spoke in behalf of the others and he was kind to tell me more about it.Here the conversation i had with Eric Rechsteiner:

© Eric Rechsteiner

DM: I like the idea to see european photographer and japanese photographer working together, I can imagine is not easy because of the different interpretation of photojournalism , tell me morehow the project started and what are thechallenges.

ER: at the beginning we're a group of photographers living and working in Tokyo and sharing the desire to do things with others and I'm not sure we can divide photographers in two groups, Japanese and Europeans. Each photographer,whatever its nationality, has its own approach of photography. Andphotojournalism is only one of the different ways we're working on. David CollBlanco for example works sometimes as a photojournalist for news agency but has avery artistic, almost abstract, approach in his personal projects.

© Ogawa Yasuhiro

DM: When Henri Cartier-Bresson startedMagnum he told "Magnum is a community of thought,a shared human quality, a curiosity about what is going on in the world, a respect for what is going on and a desire to transcribe it visually". Are these values stillstrong among your Collective?

ER: too big names for a comparison ! But yes, at least we can say that we share curiosity about what's going on in the world and in a way a common thought. A collective project implies to share with others and to learn from others.

© David Coll Blanco

DM: I was in Tokyo while you with the other were shooting at the fashion week and you told me about the project on Tokyo Bay (which can become the site for the 2016 Olympic Games), how u decide to move in a common project?

ER: that's a good question because it's not an easy thing to do. We share common interest on many topics but we also understand that a good way to be all motivated about a long term project is to have the money that goes with it. Without source of funding it's of course difficult to keep the troops motivated for very long.Yes, Tokyo is a candidate city for the 2016 Olympic and as we have in mind to work on different aspects of the games planed around the Tokyo Bay area, we're actually looking for sponsors. We're also trying to upload new images on our website every month, mostly news topics. After the Japan fashion week in Tokyo, we photographed the cherry blossoms (Hanami) and are now working on the severe economical crisis that is hitting Japan.

© Aida Noriyuki

DM: All the photographers distribute their work through other agencies in the world, is that can create a conflict?

ER: Yes, almost all of us are linked to a photo agency, but we're not in conflict because - even if we all have a documentary background - we don't do exactly the same type of work: each photographer has its own way, its own style. And our website is a platform to promote the work of each of us.

© Androniki Christodoulou

DM : How a collective moves nowadays? As it is merely a cultural experience do you aim to have some Foundations and cultural sponsorship in order to promote exhibitions, books and projects ?

ER:Our first photo exhibition, "Tokyo Youth" last December was sponsored by japanese memory card maker Sandisk. We would like to convince them to follow us again but, as you know, it's really tough time for sponsorship hunting...As for the Tokyo Bay project, we're hoping to get money from the Tokyo metropolitan government.

DM: How Japanese media reacting to the Collective?

ER: As I was saying, people are usually curious and interested by the idea but we are going to launch our website "for real", here in Japan and overseas, only next week, so I'll be able to answer this question only in a while.

DM: What is your goal for the future ? Any projects?

ER: 2009 is a tough year for the photo business but maybe also a good opportunity to promote different types of work. So we would like to present the group in Perpignan next September, it's a bit far from home but we'll try to go there!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Books : Asakusa Portraits by Hiroh Kikai

One of the best portrait book done recently, Hiroh Kikai explore the popular district of Asakusa (famous also for the many temples) by portraying people using a simple style.
Here a note from the book:
The Asakusa quarter of Tokyo was once home to the city’s historic pleasure palaces, and today embraces a stubbornly independent popular culture that encompasses traditional comedy theater and houses of erotic entertainment. Asakusa attracts outcasts from Japan’s modern consumer society and is also the home of the famous Senso-ji temple, which attracts floods of tourists from around the country. Over the past two decades, Hiroh Kikai has created an extensive and unforgettable series of street portraits from the enormous flow of people passing through
the district. Posed against the bare walls of the Senso-ji temple, these strong, severe, lonely studies radiate a shared sense of hard-won, idiosyncratic individuality. The photographs are accompanied by Kikai’s own pithy, sometimes humorous descriptions of his subjects. Taken together, Kikai’s Asakusa portraits amount to a classic meditation upon the timeless complexities of the human condition.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Festival : Fotografia Europea , Reggio Emilia , Italy

The photo festival "Fotografia Europea" will have Eternity as topic, displaying different photographers from Europe. Among Luigi Ghirri, Josef Sudek, Maria Papadimitriou, Balthasar Burhard.
Here the statement from Fotografia Europea site:
This year’s edition, on the immense topic of Eternity, treats the theme of time in the photographic image. Photography has a very peculiar and special relationship with time: it has shown the real instant to man, the present, for the first time, fixed in an image, but as soon as it is done, the moment has already passed, leaving the observer with a strange sensation. Looking at a photographic image is always looking into the past. But above all, there are moments and instants, some short, others longer, suspended, vibrant, dilated, and there is the time of the image itself, which captivates and guides the viewer.Eternity indicates a long time, a time of suspension, of meditation, ofsedimentation ; the time of art. But it also evokes the hypothesis of new and different temporal dimensions, which have to reckon with changes and persistence, with memory and together with new technologies. Which idea do we have of eternity today, in the age of the Internet?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Books : East by Anzenberger (part 4)

Last part dedicated to the book "East" edited and produced by Anzenberger Agency . I am in Vienna these days for the presentation of book "West" which is the second and final part of the project. I will talk more about West later on.

Chippendale's Erotic Dancers by Agnieszka Rayss

It looks a bit like a construction site: the red-and-white striped tape that separates the couple as they tentatively embrace. Which is the correct interpretation in a certain sense, because this is not really a “united ” couple. And so the construction-site tape really just underscores the meaning of this love: it is a “work in progress”. In any case it all amounts to the same thing: love is always a lot of work plus a bit of show, and the show is always more than appears on the surface; it’s always a projection of closet desires. In the present case the number might be called: muscleman and girl from the audience. It is no disadvantage that an embrace is the central and key element in multiple form. On the contrary: often proximity has the most to tell us about dormant distance, regardless of how it is interpreted. Sometimes the naked beau of the Polish erotic male dance ensemble Models FX holds his female fan tenderly in his arms before martially spinning her around. This is Eros as an adrenalin acrobat in a well-oiled macho costume. But that doesn’t make it a model of morality, rather an indication of the power that the world of superficial media images has always possessed. For many years Poland was spared the high-gloss media of voyeurism. Thus when the country was finally exposed to the rainbow palette of consumerism, it sucked the colours up like a dry sponge. Love from the days of a planned economy finally discovered the real article: the dream man.

St. Petersburg Kommunalka - Bolshevik Flat - Sharing by Max Sher

Cracks instead of wrinkles. Instead of age spots on their bodies, these houses get mould on the walls and the wrinkled remains of wallpaper beneath crumbling stucco. Old houses are like old people, and sometimes their eyes – the windows – get weak with age or blind. But they absorb the stories of their inhabitants and repeat them for a long time. St. Petersburg’s public housing is full of the traces of eventful lives. That by itself would be only an approximate perspective, but Max Sher’s pictures tell the story in particular of the blurred edges of an often difficult neighbourhood. There is a basic common motif to the Kommunalka project, the story of a failed experiment that began with the dreams of the Bolsheviks in 1917, when the brand-new revolution not only wanted to create new housing for workers but new workers as well. Shared bathrooms, WCs and hallways were more than just a compromise necessitated by a lack of space. They were also intended to consign the territorial thinking of bourgeois ownership to the dustbin of the past. But the dream of social community was fragmented into neglected zones and myriad neighbourhood skirmishes. Thus the sad transparency of curtains and naked proximity, of surrealistic kitchen still lifes with hand-saw and casserole: they tell the story of far more than the simply private spaces and lines of demarcation of emotional transit. They also lead the viewer along the intended point of fracture of political fiction.

Siberia's Forgotten Cities by Filip Singer

The subject is familiar: post-apocalyptic scenery inhabited, and sometimes terrorised, by nomadic hordes. Depending on the temporal situation of the plot, the newly created tribes have configured fictive worlds into new communities with the help of artefacts and rituals that have survived from the days before the catastrophe. As a rule they do not wear head-scarves in Filip Singer’s pictures. Nevertheless: the young Czech photographer spreads out a surrealistic landscape, and the sequence is all the more horrific when he is exploring not some distorted fictional image but rather the reality of the people stranded in distant Siberia and its cities. Norilsk and Mirny are mining towns encircled not just by ice and deep forests but also by the paper barricades of various visitor’s permits. The decline that set in with the collapse of the Soviet Union hit these workers’ colonies in the country’s Far East with full force. Thus the observer travels with Singer to a foreign archipelago of urban islands, into everyday life that seems almost unreal with its ice, mineral dust and tower blocks that seem to have been abandoned. A mine becomes a crater – what fell to earth here? And a coffee break becomes a conspiratorial meeting, whose only apparent goal can be a longed-for break-out. Even the children playing on the icy terrain are no exception – the horror of Hieronymus Bosch and the whacky obliviousness of a Mad Max are found here as well.

The Helpers of Chernobyl by Igor Starkov

The rays from the colour organ and the gaudy cold of its illumination. A medical device that has no intention of fitting into the cheerful ice-salon-pink of the background, no more than the pair of shoes parked in front of it. The emptiness of a room where one would most likely expect to find corrupt provincial parliamentary delegates. But the meeting is over, or it never took place, and only a single person is sitting here. The parts and the whole, the state and its servants, the atom and the devastating power of its split nucleus. There are many complex levels on which to consider the subject that Igor Starkov has made the framework of his essay on the aid workers following the catastrophe of Chernobyl. His takes are sterile and as silent as death. They exude something insidious, as though the devastating effects of contamination were far from over – which, indeed, is the case. And something else quickly becomes apparent: that this is no longer a question of life and death. Because that is a boundary that the few survivors have long since crossed; it’s something one notices immediately. Thus the strange inanimacy and silence found in many of these pictures is a highly accurate depiction of reality for the clean-up workers. In crass contrast to the manner in which the media made heroes of the New York fire-fighters, those who were hastily commanded to sweep up the debris of these shattered nuclear remains quickly disappeared from the face of the earth: overlooked by the state and by the world. And in the case of these silent portraits, who still testify to the event: so far by death itself as well.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Books : Good Luck China by Eric

The series from Hong Kong Photographer Eric (Lee) "Good Luck China" are a colorful essay on China, funny photography which reminds a bit of Martin Parr. The book is on sale here in Japanese Amazon but not... in China...
I discovered the book in a bookstore in Tokyo where Eric seems to be more known.